Emulate Brain-Chip to Study the Effects of Microgravity on Human Brain Physiology at the International Space Station

BOSTON, December 21, 2021 (Emulate PR) – Emulate, Inc., a leading provider of next-generation in vitro models, today announced that the Brain-Chip was sent to the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory (ISS National Lab) to study the effects of microgravity on human brain physiology as part of the Tissue-Chips in Space initiative sponsored by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the International Space Station National Lab (ISS-NL). The ISS provides an environment where researchers can study human health in microgravity, allowing them to isolate the effects of gravity from other factors that can impact brain cell function. 

The Emulate Brain-Chip is the most comprehensive in vitro model of the human neurovascular unit, including the blood-brain barrier (BBB), for preclinical research. It contains five cell types in a dynamic and tunable microenvironment, resulting in in vivo-like gene expression and phenotypic response. Each chip is about the size of a USB thumb drive and contains two fluidic channels separated by a porous membrane. The vascular channel is lined with brain microvascular endothelial cells, while the brain channel contains cortical neurons, astrocytes, pericytes, and microglia. This allows researchers to study BBB function, the ability of drugs to cross the BBB, and the complex cell-cell interactions involved in brain physiology, disease, and drug response.

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SpaceX CRS-24 Launching Multiple Life Science Investigations to International Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., December 15, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The microgravity environment on the International Space Station (ISS) has a profound impact on cells and tissues, allowing researchers to conduct life sciences research in ways not possible on the ground. SpaceX’s 24th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the orbiting laboratory will deliver a variety of life science payloads sponsored by the ISS National Lab. From stem cell research on neurodegenerative diseases to a tissue chip experiment studying the blood-brain barrier and an investigation testing the use of bacteria to protect DNA from the stresses of spaceflight—the research launching on this mission is helping to improve the quality of life for people on Earth.

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Merck, Procter & Gamble Among Private-Sector Partners Launching Research to the ISS on SpaceX CRS-24

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., December 13, 2021 (CASIS PR) – SpaceX’s upcoming 24th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) will include more than 15 payloads sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory, managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS). These payloads include multiple investigations from private-sector entities, including two supported by highly recognizable companies: Merck and Procter & Gamble.

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Experiments Riding 24th SpaceX Cargo Mission to Space Station Study Bioprinting, Crystallization, Laundry

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer is shown during preflight training for the BioPrint First Aid investigation, which tests a bioprinted tissue patch for enhanced wound healing. (Credits: ESA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The 24thSpaceX cargo resupply services mission, targeted to launch in late December from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carries scientific research and technology demonstrations to the International Space Station. The experiments aboard include studies of bioprinting, crystallization of monoclonal antibodies, changes in immune function, plant gene expression changes, laundering clothes in space, processing alloys, and student citizen science projects.

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New Research Announcement Focused on Technology Development Applications Leveraging the International Space Station

Selected proposals may have the opportunity to launch projects utilizing the International Space Station National Laboratory

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., December 7, 2021 (CASIS PR) – A new research announcement was released today soliciting flight projects leveraging the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory to advance technology development applications. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS), manager of the ISS National Lab, seeks flight projects within the areas of applied research and development, translational medicine, technology readiness level maturation, and technology demonstration. As a public service enterprise, the ISS National Lab allows researchers to leverage this multiuser facility to improve quality of life on Earth, mature space-based business models, advance science literacy in the future workforce, and expand a sustainable and scalable market in low Earth orbit (LEO).

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NSF-Funded Solicitation to Leverage the ISS National Lab for Tissue Engineering Research is Now Open

Credit: NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla, December 6, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS) announced a solicitation to utilize the International Space Station (ISS) to advance research in tissue engineering and mechanobiology. Through this solicitation, NSF will provide up to $1.2 million in funding to support multiple projects that will launch to the orbiting research platform under the sponsorship of the ISS National Laboratory. CASIS is the organization responsible for management of the ISS National Lab through a Cooperative Agreement with NASA.

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Two Startups Awarded Projects Leveraging the ISS National Lab Through MassChallenge

Selected projects to receive funding from CASIS and Boeing through the Technology in Space Prize

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla, November 2, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advancement of Science and Space, Inc. (CASIS) and Boeing [NYSE: BA] are awarding up to $500,000 in grants to two startup companies through the Technology in Space Prize. The startups, krtkl inc. and Oculogenex, Inc., were identified through the MassChallenge (Boston) startup accelerator program. The companies will leverage the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, managed by CASIS, to further their research and technology development in low Earth orbit.

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ISS National Lab Announces Sustainability Challenge Focused on Plastics Alternatives in Partnership with Estée Lauder

Finalists of this Sustainability Challenge may have the opportunity to launch flight projects to the orbiting laboratory under the sponsorship of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), October 28, 2021 – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS), manager of the ISS National Lab, today announced a sustainability challenge in partnership with leading global prestige beauty brand Estée Lauder. The ISS National Lab Sustainability Challenge: Beyond Plastics aims to utilize the orbiting laboratory to advance sustainability research that addresses the plastics dilemma.

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Former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati Joins CASIS Board of Directors

Waleed Abdalati

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., October 21, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the  Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Inc., manager of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, today announced that former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati, Ph.D., joined the organization’s board of directors. The CASIS Board of Directors seeks to ensure and enhance the utility of the ISS National Lab to further basic and applied space-based research that brings value to our nation and drives a robust market in low Earth orbit.

“The International Space Station is home to a one-of-a-kind laboratory that provides an environment and perspective that allow us to push the frontiers in science as we seek to further understand biology, physics, and our world. It is a privilege to be part of the group that oversees the management and mission of this amazing orbiting national laboratory,” Dr. Abdalati said. 

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ISS National Lab Releases Research Announcement Focused on In-Space Production Applications in Biomanufacturing

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., October 20, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory has unveiled a research announcement seeking proposals to demonstrate biomanufacturing activities in microgravity. Targeted fields such as tissue engineering and biomanufacturing provide use cases for how ISS National Lab-sponsored research may lead to new biological products and tools that benefit humankind and drive a sustainable market in low Earth orbit.

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SpaceX CRS-23 Successfully Completes Mission, Returning Critical Science Back to Earth

Cargo Dragon CRS-23 atop a Falcon 9 booster. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), October 1, 2021 (CASIS PR)  – On September 30, SpaceX completed its 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) when its Dragon spacecraft safely splashed into the water off the coast of Florida. SpaceX CRS-23, contracted by NASA, brought back more than 25 payloads representing science and technology demonstrations sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. These investigations aim to leverage the unique space-based environment of the orbiting platform to bring value to our nation and drive a robust market in low Earth orbit.

Below highlights some of the ISS National Lab-sponsored investigations that returned on SpaceX CRS-23.

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NASA Enables Commercial Crew, Private Astronaut Missions

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured after undocking from the forward port on the Harmony module beginning its short trip to the space-facing port. (Credit: NASA TV)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — When SpaceX launches its Inspiration4 mission with four crew members to space, it will be the company’s first fully private launch with astronauts to orbit. Although not a NASA mission, the flight embodies the agency’s vision and work to foster a strong space economy, with private companies providing commercial transportation to space for people and cargo as well as creating future commercial destinations in space.

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NSF and CASIS Select Three Tissue Engineering Projects to Leverage the ISS National Lab

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., September 8, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced three awarded projects from a joint solicitation focused on transformative tissue engineering and mechanobiology research. Through this partnership, NSF awarded $1.2 million to the selected projects to leverage the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory to advance fundamental science and biomedical engineering. CASIS, manager of the ISS National Lab, will facilitate hardware implementation in-orbit access, and astronaut crew time to support the investigations on the orbiting laboratory.

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Going to Extremes with MISSE: Advancing New Materials and Technology Outside the ISS

Photo documentation of the Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) platform aboard the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., August 27, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The International Space Station (ISS) is an incredible research platform that has hosted more than 3,000 experiments—but not all that research takes place inside the orbiting laboratory. On the outside of the ISS, the extreme space conditions provide an unparalleled environment to test new materials and advance technologies in ways not possible on Earth.

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